Electric car manufacturers could be fined £660million for missing ambitious ZEV mandate targets

An electric car charging

The ZEV mandate will be introduced next year

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 11/08/2023

- 11:45

The Government is planning to introduce a set of rules to promote the manufacture of electric cars next year

New data suggests that 32 car manufacturers which are eligible for inclusion in the ZEV mandate would fall far short of proposed targets.

Research, from New AutoMotive, has shown that manufacturers would be 44,000 credits short of reaching the 2024 targets if they were in force over the last 12 months.

Because of this failing, it means they would need to either borrow or buy out of their regulatory obligations, resulting in costs of around £660million.

In 2024, automotive manufacturers will be required to have 22 per cent of its car sales and 10 per cent of its van sales be electric.

An electric car charging

Car brands will need to meet the targets if it is introduced next year


Brands which manufacture a lot of popular electric cars like Tesla, MG and Polestar will be the biggest beneficiaries of the ZEV mandate.

However, manufacturers like Ford, Toyota, Audi and Land Rover will most likely need to buy credits or pay large fines to achieve targets.

Ben Nelmes, Chief Executive at New AutoMotive, said: "Electric cars are so popular that manufacturers cannot produce enough of them to meet demand.

“Consumers tell us they love the running cost savings, the smoother drive and guilt-free motoring.

“The challenge facing the UK remains how to give consumers what they want: more electric cars.

"Ministers' plans for a California-style Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate are essential to boosting the supply of electric cars as well as boosting charge point installations - but they must come into force in January 2024 so consumers can benefit.”

The ZEV mandate consultation document outlined how a potential fine structure could work, highlighting international examples where they may miss out on mandate targets.

In California, manufacturers face a fine of $20,000 (£15,748) per vehicle, with Quebec and British Columbia issuing fines of CAD$20,000 (£11,703).

A ZEV scheme could also use a credit system where manufacturers earn credits for selling zero emission vehicles to car clubs.

These credits can also be traded between manufacturers to ensure they meet targets, similar to the scheme of carbon credit trading.

The Government has forecast that the ZEV mandate could have a cost benefit of £44billion, according to a best estimate.

In the best case scenario, the net benefit of the scheme could reach £184billion over the next 50 years.


A row of Tesla Superchargers

Tesla is set to benefit from the ZEV mandate


A consultation on the ZEV mandate ended in May, with final analysis set to be released by the Government later this year.

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